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Tokyo - Overview

About 10% of Japan's total population live in Tokyo (12.7 million out of 127 million as of year 2007). Among Japan's 47 prefectures, Tokyo has the largest population, and is the most densely populated prefecture in Japan. Of the 12.7 million living in Tokyo, 8.6 million live in the 23 special ward areas of Tokyo. For more information, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government website provides useful and updated maps and population trends.

Foreigners make up a small percentage of total population in Japan (around 1.5% or 2 million), of which Koreans make up the largest proportion (29.8%), followed by Chinese (25.8%), Brazilians (15%) and Filipinos (9.3%). For more details, refer to Japan's Foreign Press Centre's website at www.fpcj.jp to download a pdf summary of Japan's latest figures on population.

Administratively, Tokyo (Tokyo-to) is a metropolitan prefecture that differs from other Japanese prefectures (usually ends with a –ken, e.g. Hiroshima-ken). Given its population size, the "central" region of Tokyo is administered by 23 special wards (ku), that are special local public entities that are only found in Tokyo. The regional government of Tokyo is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG).

For an overall map of Tokyo Metropolis and its surrounding prefectures, click here. Some interesting facts and figures on Tokyo as compared to the rest of Japan is available here.

Modern and fashionable, Tokyo's identity is constantly evolving. Tokyo may be at the cutting edge of technology and fashion trends, but its people can be deeply rooted in their culture and traditions. Japanese living is centered among harmony: traditional practices can co-exist with jaw-dropping controversy. Expatriates living in Tokyo will agree that this city is full of surprises and conflicts, and living in Tokyo is certainly a great exposure to a unique culture.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.